SFBT Moments Volume 209: Why You Shouldn’t Doubt Your Clients
In the past couple of days I’ve been on zoom, meeting with teams all around the world talking about, and in some cases, in most cases, demonstrating Solution Focused Brief Therapy, like in role play, stuff like that. And, and one of the things that people constantly remark about is how confident and sure of myself I seem when I’m asking questions in the session. And I actually believe that being confident plays a role in the client’s ability to answer your questions, like being sure of yourself. Not sure that you’re asked me a good question, but just sure of yourself as you’re conducting an interview is kind of a really important thing.
And people will often ask me questions and my goal for this video, what I want to do here, is just eradicate doubt, right? So somebody sent me a question the other day where they asked me does this approach work with someone who has a low IQ? And I just thought, man, like, do you hear the doubt in that question? So what ends up happening, if someone comes to your office and you perceived them to have a low IQ, you start doubting whether or not this approach will work. You start doubting whether or not you can make a difference. You start doubting your questions and that doesn’t translate into the session. And we gotta get rid of that doubt.
And think about that. What we’re saying is like, does therapy worked with someone with a low IQ? Like, is a high IQ a requisite for change in therapy? Of course not. I mean, that’s ridiculous. That’s crazy. Anybody can benefit from therapy. Like, we know via research that hope is important. Expectancy is important. The relationship is important. To allow it to creep in your head that only someone with a high IQ can benefit from Therapy or Solution Focused Brief Therapy is just crazy,
but it comes from our doubt. So we have to know that anyone sitting in front of us, anyone sitting in front of us can experience a difference from psychotherapy and can experience a different from Solution Focused Brief Therapy because it’s actually not the questions that make the difference. It’s the relationship where in the questions exist. So it doesn’t matter whether the person has depression.
Doesn’t matter whether the person has anxiety. Doesn’t matter where the person has a low IQ. Doesn’t matter whether the person is bereaved. What matters is your ability to connect with them and then put the questions in the connection. That’s when change happens. And I want you to believe that so deeply in your bones, that you don’t doubt people anymore. There’s so many other questions that people ask me,
just come from their deep seated, deep rooted doubt in the approach or in the settings or in the people they’re seeing. And doubt is a therapy killer. Doubt is a change killer. Doubt is a progress killer. You know, one of the things that I always say is you’re never more than one question away from making a difference in a client’s life.
And you’ve got to believe that. You’ve got to believe that because you really can make a difference in someone’s life if you’re able to understand that your role is to connect with them and your questions happen within that connection. Your role isn’t to assess whether or not someone with whatever type of variable can experience change. Your role is so much more simple and that your role is so much more basic than that. And the impact that is so remarkable.
Think about what relationships do to you? Like, my Mom lives in Chicago and in the past couple of months, I’ve driven to Chicago to see her more than one time. And, um, you know, when I am at a loss and when I feel low in life or when I’m struggling with things like,
a hug from my Mom just makes me feel better. She didn’t give me any advice on how to deal with a certain particular adversity that might be going on in my life where, she doesn’t tell me what to do or how to do it. She just hugs me, reassures me that things will be okay. And in a weird way, that’s the role of therapy plays because in the relationship between the clinician and the client, that connection is what facilitates growth. That connection is what facilitates progress. That connection is what facilitates change.
If my mom were to ever doubt me, and I’ll be honest with you, my Mom might be the only person on the planet who has never doubted me once ever. Anytime I’ve ever told when my mother I wanted to do something she just had a look in her eye, an energy about her, that let me know that she knew I could do it. No matter what it was. I can call my mother and say, I’m going to fly to the moon. And my mother would say, great. I know you’re going to do it and I can’t wait to see what you do. And I can’t wait to hear about it when you get back.
Like, it’s that level of belief that has actually carried me through some of my hardest moments. It’s that level of belief, which is why my mother is a person I call when I experience a level of turmoil and difficulty in my life, in my professional life even. Like, my mother’s the person I lean on because I’ve never seen doubt in her eyes, in relationship to me. You’ve got to be that for your clients. That’s your job. Like, that’s your role. And if you can fulfil that, then you drastically increase the likelihood that change will happen.
The greatest gift you can give someone is the look of confidence in your eyes. The look in belief to truly believe that the client you’re seeing is capable of anything, regardless what their IQ might be. Regardless, what problem might have been bothering them. You look at them from the perspective of capacity, abundance. People are capable of doing wonderful, amazing things at any moment. And it’s your job not to lose sight of that.
And to look at them as if they are capable of true greatness. That’s what I want you to do to eradicate the doubt that creeps into our mind when we are doing clinical work, because once you do that, you are really doing your client a great service. And that’s what I want you to do. I want you to do great services for the people that we see.
But you’ve got to take this on. You got to believe that you can make a difference in someone’s life, regardless of what may be hindering them. Because it’s your job to believe in people just as my mother has believed in me my entire life.
Hey, thank you so much for watching that video. I really appreciate you guys listening to me, share my thoughts and ideas about Solution Focused Brief Therapy. And as I try to make you the very best Solution Focused Brief Therapist that you could possibly be.
If you could please help me share the word, ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘subscribe’ to my YouTube channel to help me spread the word of this amazing approach. ‘Hit’ the bell on my YouTube channel to get notifications when I post new content head on over to www.elliottconnie.com, where I post all kinds of free content, free training materials, and updates on my courses and events. And I hope to see you in the next video. Thank you.